When you hear the words “Waipara” and “Otago,” do thoughts of vibrant pinots noirs pop into your head? They should. New Zealand is becoming known for sophisticated pinots at snatch-them-up prices.

A good place to start: the widely available 2007 Brancott South Island ($14), a blend from the key pinot vineyard areas of South Island—Marlborough, Waipara, and central Otago. Delicate with velvety soft cherry and red berry flavors, it redefines Kiwi polish.






Photograph: Michael Boone